Well, our lovely sunny weather continues, but it is set to change next week, with cooler temperatures returning and even some rain - goodness knows the gardens need it! And I can't quite believe it is already August - this year is flying by so fast!
So, on this glorious summer Sunday, I would like to share with you a sign/hanging plaque I just finished earlier today and I hope you like it. I forgot to take step-by-step photos - sorry - but I will talk you through the process.
Bubbalux Ultimate Craft Board - red, blue and yellow
Foam sheet - blue
Sizzix Textured Impressions Embossing Folder Plus - Botanical Swirls by Rachael Bright
Sizzix Bigz Alphabet Die - J
Tim Holtz 3-D Texture Fades Embossing Folder - Botanical
Tim Holtz 3-D Texture Fades Embossing Folder - Lumber
Sizzix Thinlits Die Large Delicate Butterfly by David Tutera
Sizzix Bigz Die Asian Flower by Debi Potter
DecoArt Crafter's Acrylic White Paint
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic - Prussian Blue Hue
Distress Ink - Pumice Stone
Strong acrylic glue
Red craft wire
(1) Using a craft knife, cut a sheet of the red Bubbalux in half, giving you two A5 sized pieces.
(2) Emboss one of the A5 pieces using the Sizzix Textured Impressions Embossing Folder Plus - Botanical Swirls. You will have to play around with your machine and platforms/shims and cutting pads until you find the right combination to push this through the machine - you have to bear in mind that the Bubbalux sheet is 2mm thick and quite a hard substrate so you will need to make allowances for this.
(3) Using a dry brush, roughly paint the embossed Bubbalux with white acrylic paint. It doesn't need to be neat and it doesn't need to be an even coat as we're going for a slightly shabby look here.
(4) Once the paint has dried, sand some of it back using an emery board to reveal the red base layer.
(5) Apply pumice stone distress ink to accentuate the emboss design even more.
(6) Cut the large butterfly wings out of foam sheet using the David Tutera Large Delicate Butterfly die. This is a really big butterfly, so it was ideal for this project. Fix them in place on your base using strong acrylic glue.
(7) Next, cut a piece of yellow Bubbalux and emboss it using the Tim Holtz 3-D Texture Fades Embossing Folder - Lumber. Again, you'll have to play around with your thickness of platform/shims etc to get this right as the texture fades embossing folders are in themselves quite thick and less pliable than standard embossing folders, and then you've got the 2mm thickness of the Bubbalux.
(8) Die-cut the letter 'J' from the embossed Bubbalux using the Bigz alphabet die.
(9) Give this a dry brush coating of white acrylic - again, no need to be neat! Once dry, sand back again with the emery board and apply distress ink to help highlight the texture.
(10) Glue the letter into the centre of the butterfly to create the body.
(11) Die cut your flowers and foliage from blue, red and yellow bubbalux using the Sizzix Bigz Asian Flower die. Sometimes the bubbalux gets stuck in the die and if this happens you'll need to carefully prise it out using a pokey tool or similar - something with a small sharp point to get underneath the Bubbalux and separate it from the die! Don't try this using just your fingers as you are likely to break your nails and possibly cut yourself quite badly on the sharp steel rule edges.
(12) Run these shapes through your machine using your platform and just your cutting plates to provide texture - assuming your plates are well-used and full of etchings of course, as are mine! If not then you can always use an embossing folder to add detail.
(13) Apply a thin coat of white acrylic to one side of the shapes. Once dry, sand back a little and use the pumice stone ink to lift some of the texture detail on the surface.
(14) Turn your shapes over and heat on the reverse, one at a time, to make them pliable. Then quickly shape them to your liking. As it cools, the Bubbalux hardens again so you do have to be quite quick, but if you're not happy with the shape you've achieved, you can simply reheat it and start again - magic!
(15) Once you're happy with your flowers and foliage, assemble the flower layers using the strong glue - it takes a little while to dry and you may have to hold the pieces in place for a while to help them adhere to one another.
(16) Assemble your flowers and foliage on your base and glue in place. Again, this may take a while to set.
(17) Using the DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic Prussian Blue Hue, apply tiny amounts to the embossed base using a piece of kitchen towelling. You only need small amounts to provide some additional depth and ground the whole thing and to tie it all together - the paint is almost the identical colour to the blue Bubbalux!
(18) Punch holes at the top and use the craft wire to create your hanging loop.
This is what it looks like on the reverse!
And here's the finished piece again.
I really enjoyed making this piece and hope it inspires you to have a go with Bubbalux and see what awesome creations you can come up with!
All the links to the products are at the top in the ingredients list - just hover over each item and click to go straight to that page at our webshop. The only things we don't stock are the craft wire and the emery boards!
See you again soon!